First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud

September 2022 Newsletter

Starting on September 11th our Sunday morning services will change to the following: 

Traditional Worship begining at 8:15-9:15 AM

Serendipity Bible Class 9:15-10:00AM

Blended Worship begining at 10:15-11:15AM 

From the Desk of Pastor Cathy

Dear friends!

It’s September already! We are looking forward to the fall and getting back to Wednesday night suppers, Sunday school classes, having the Preschool children here and new opportunities to grow and learn and have fellowship! It would be nice to have some cooler temperatures, too!

Our new sermon series is called They Walked with God based on the book by Max Lucado. Pastor Max Lucado is a master storyteller, and we will hear about the heroes (men and women) of the Bible. We will hear about David and Goliath, Esther, Isaiah, Sarah and Nicodemus. As God called heroes of the faith in the days of the Bible, God calls heroes of the faith in our day, too. Each week we will hear an everyday example of a hero.

We had a wonderful Back to School Bash and First Day Back for our Preschool children! These wonderful events remind us that we continue to share the love and gospel of Jesus Christ with the next generation. We had 22 youth and children and 13 adults for our Back-to-School Bash. I am so thankful for Rijean and Amber Smith for making that event happen!

We welcomed back 55 preschool children on Monday, August 15th. We are so blessed to have our wonderful Director, Denise Dunn, and the teachers and assistants in our First Church Preschool. Please keep our children and Preschool staff in your prayers for a safe and joy filled year! My joy is that we were able to have Preschool Orientation with our teachers and staff in person this year for the first time since I have been here!

We are thrilled to let you know that our Youth and Children will be meeting on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00PM every week starting September 7th. Our Wednesday night suppers will start on Wednesday, September 14th from 5:15-6:00 PM. We will have hamburgers, hot dogs and Sheran Rasmus will lead us in a painting class where we will paint a lovely Fall picture. Last year, this was one of the highlights of our activities. We look forward to BUNCO, having our Costa Rica Mission Team share and lots of other great programs! Please let us know you are attending on your Let’s Connect cards.

We are making improvements on our facilities. Pastor Jim Kledis and Scott Weyrauch’s office is furnished and painted (mostly) and we hope you will join us in welcoming them in their “new digs”! 

Pastor Cathy Thacker

Children playing at Back-to School Bash

Brylee, Isabel, & Charlotte receiving their Bibles

Ms. Jan's Class at our Preschool

Introducing Juan Santiago

Juan has been helping out at the church for about two years. He started working with the Cold Night program and is now on staff as our security officer. His responsibilities include helping out during the Bags of Love food distribution, locking and unlocking the buildings, helping to keep our preschoolers safe, and being present at church events upholding our security procedures.

Juan was an Army Reservist and did two back-to-back tours in Iraq from March 2003 to August 2004. After his service with the Army, he became a New York City Corrections Officer. In 2010 he was eligible to retire and decided to move to Florida. He said that he got tired of shoveling snow and decided to follow his mother and sister to the St. Cloud area. They had moved to Florida the previous year. His daughter, Maygan and grandson, Angel who is 4 years old still live in New York. 

Juan lives next to the church and is available at any time when needed. We are thankful that Juan is a part of our church family and is using his skills to keep our church campus safe. 

Serving Others with
Our Mercy Ministries
Bags of Love

The number of people who come on Tueday and Thursday mornings for Bags of Love is increasing. FUMCSC is always in need of food to fill the bags! You may help supply the need of the Bags of Love lunches by bringing any of these items to the FUMC office; Vienna sausages, canned tuna or chicken, Beanie-Weanies, bags of chips, cookies, peanut butter or cheese crackers, fruit cups, pudding snacks, applesauce, bottled waters. 

Gently used clothing are also distributed on Tuesday and Thursday when those less-fortunate come for Bags of Love.

As our numbers continue to go up we thank you for helping us serve the community! Volunteers are always needed to prepare a hot meal, fill and distribute bags of love, and sort clothing. There are many opportunities for those who wish to help out. Please contact the church office if you are interested.

Our Bicycle Ministry provides refurbished bicycles to those in need so they are able to have much needed transportation. If you know someone who has a bike they are not using please contact the church office.

Click on the image above to go to the Bags of Love Store page directly.

Elmer's Kitchen

FUMC of St Cloud serves as the host site of Elmer’s Meal Kitchen, partnering with the St. Cloud Ministerial Association. Each Sunday at 2:00 pm in the Family Life Center, a free nutritious meal is served to the unemployed or underemployed by a different church or local group.

First Sunday of month: First Presbyterian Church of St. Cloud

Second Sunday of month:

Boy Scouts & St. Thomas Aquainas Catholic Church

Third Sunday of month: Soul City Church

Fourth Sunday of month: Christ the Savior Church

Fifth Sunday of month: FUMC of St. Cloud

Hire Quest

FUMC of St. Cloud is working with Hire Quest which helps the less fortunate of our community get a job. Our church donates food and clothes to Hire Quest when needed. The program is located near the Taco Bell in St. Cloud and is run by Flo Shrum who also volunteers at Bags of Love.

Flo Shrum

Diane at Hire Quest     

Volunteer Opportunities

There are many opportuities to volunteer at First Church St. Cloud. Donna Regn with the Mercy Ministries is always looking for help. Elmer's Kitchen can also use assistance.

We are looking for someone to take over or assist with the monthly newsletter. 

School Supplies Donated and Delivered

Thank you to everyone who donated school supplies that were delivered to Michigan Avenue Elementary School.

Amazon donations were also made by some of our church members to purchase school supplies for our partner school, St. Cloud Middle School.

Appreciative Teachers

Missions Team Work Day

Our Mission Team recently had a work day and spruced up Judy Schmidt's home in Kissimmee. They trimmed trees, raked, and hauled away the brush. 

Althea Lee and Michael McCleary

Judy Schmidt and Karen Roper

Michael McCleary

Brian Watson

Mission Work Team

Mr. Collins

New Office Space

Pastor Jim Kledis and Scott Weyrauch’s office is furnished and painted. They welcome visiters to their new work space.


Coffee Hour on Sunday Mornings

Join us for "coffee hour" between church services from 9:15 to 10:00 AM located in the Annex off the Sanctuary. Rhys Bibeau and Larry Dykes are your hosts each week. This is a special time to meet your church family for coffee, donuts, cookies, and other treats. Donations and volunteers are welcome! Please call (407) 908-4418 if you are interested in helping.

Don White, Sheran Rasmus, Larry Dykes, Samuel, & Barbara Watson

Monthly Church-Wide Wednesday Night Dinner

Each month we hold a Church-Wide Wednesday night dinner with physical distancing followed by an activiity starting at 5:15 PM. It is a great time to get to know your church family. After taking a break for the summer, we will be resuming this monthly dinner on September 14th. Please join us for a delicious meal and plan to stay for another painting session with Sheran Rasmus.

by Lou Murray, Music Director

September already! Folks, this is when we begin planning and practicing our selections for the second annual Christmas concert, date and time to be announced. Anyone who would like to be included as a vocal or instrumental soloist should contact me NOW.

Handbells are back, and will be performing once a month under the direction of Diana Walls. We're always looking for more singers in the choir. If you'd like to join us, show up for practice in the sanctuary Wednesday evenings at 7 PM. You don't have to be a great sight reader, but some musical training is a big plus. Also, are there any instrumentalists who would like to play at first service? I love playing with other musicians, and there's only so much I can do on keyboards. I'm always open to comments or suggestions about the music.

Thanks for listening!

Chancel Choir at the Traditional Service under the Leadership of Lou Murray

Handbell Musicians under the Leadership of Diana Walls

Praise Team at the Blended Service under the Leadership of Scott Weyrauch

Our Guest Speaker on Sunday, August 21 was the Rev. Dr. Tapiwa Mucherera, Professor of Pastoral Counseling

The Rev. Dr. Tapiwa N. Mucherera is professor in Pastoral Counceling at Asbury Theological Seminary. He joined Asbury Theological Seminary's faculty in 1999 on the Wilmore campus. He was asked to move to the Florida Dunnam Campus in 2006 to help head the MA Counseling degrees. Dr. Mucherera is an author of three books and various academic articles. He and his wife, Bertha have three children, Shamiso, Anesu, and Ruvimbo.

Mark Your Calendar

Upcoming Events

September 7 - Acolyte Training ~ 6:00 PM

September 7 - Youth Resumes ~ 6:00 - 7:00 PM

September 8 - SPRC Meeting ~ 7 PM

September 14 - Children's B.E.A.C.H. Club Resumes 6:00 - 7:00 PM

September 14 - Wed. night church-wide dinner followed by painting ~ 5:15 PM

September 15 - Finance Meeting ~ 7 PM

September 22 - Church Council Meeting ~ 7 PM

Regular Meetings


  • Traditional Worship Service ~ 8:30 AM (On Sept. 11 new time begins at 8:15 AM)
  • Hybred Serendipity Sunday School Class ~ 9:00 AM (On Sept. 11 new time begins at 9:15  -10:00 AM)
  • Coffee Hour (Annex off the Sanctuary) ~ 9:15 - 10:00 AM
  • Blended Worship Service ~ 10:00 AM (On Sept. 11 new time begins at 10:15 AM)
  • Newcomer's Luncheon ~ 3rd Sunday Quarterly, 11:00 AM
  • Elmer's Kitchen ~ 2:00 - 3:00 PM (FUMCSC - 5th Sunday)


  • Power Hour Prayer Group ~ 8:30 AM
  • Seasoned Souls ~ 1st & 3rd Monday, 10:00 AM
  • Smooth Stones Bible Study ~ 2nd & 4th Monday, 10:00 AM 
  • Boy Scouts ~ 7:00 PM)


  • Bags of Love ~ 9 - 11 AM (Hot Breakfast to Go)
  • Online Bible Study with Pastor Cathy - 7:00 PM; Please join using your computer, tablet or smartphone. use passcode: 62397
  • Cub Scouts ~ 7:00 PM


  • Circle of Light - Women's Group - 2nd Wedesday of each month 10:00 AM
  • Wednesday Night Church Wide Dinner - 2nd Wednesday ~ starting at 5:15 PM
  • Youth Group ~ 6:00 - 7:00 PM - Resumes Sept. 7th
  • Children's program ~ 6:00 - 7:00 PM - Resumes Sept. 7th
  • Adult Choir Rehearsal ~ 7:00 - 8:00 PM


  • Bags of Love ~ 9:00 - 11:00 AM

Please Note: Our Church Services can be viewed on

FACEBOOK LIVE on our FB page or later on our YouTube

Channel. Click on the links at the bottom of this newsletter to

find these videos.

New to our Website!

Office Administrator, James Wise has been working hard to update the church website Past newsletters are available by clicking on the Resources tab and new this month is our Monthly Overview Calendar which is continually updated by James. The calendar can be found by clicking the About tab and then the Weekly Schedule line or by clicking this link.


School is now in session! Our first day of classes was a tremendous success as we welcomed 55 children for another great school year. God has truly blessed us with awesome children and families. Our Boo/Hoo Yahoo breakfast was a hit. Thank you to Julie Johnston, Pastor Jim, Ms. Haleigh and Mr. Jack for hosting this event and to Ms. Sue & Ms. Barb for baking/providing all of the goodies! The teachers received Back to School goodies as a gift from Jim and Eileen Zetwo. We appreciate everything these special angels do for our school. Our Bible story this month is Creation. The children will have their first Chapel on September 28. 

We still have just a few openings left in our VPK Pre-K class which is offered for children who are age 4 by September 1st. This class is free with the VPK Certificate of Eligibility. Additional information regarding our programs can be found on our website at For more pictures, visit our Facebook page at


Ms. Denise

The children of First Church meet on Sunday mornings during the 10:00 AM Blended Service after the Children's Moment.

On Wednesday, September 7th there will be acolyte training for interested children and youth.

On September 14th the Wednesday night "B.E.A.C.H. Club" program will resume after summer break. They will meet from 6 to 7 PM.

Back to School Bash

The Back-to-School Bash was a big hit with the children and youth.

Children's Church

Brylee, Isabel, & Charlotte Received New Bibles on  August 14

Our Youth Group also meets each week on Wednesday evenings

from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. 

The youth at our church, led by Amber Smith are very active with many of the events that we host. They also are involved with the Children's Ministry and help out where needed. If you know of a teen who would like to get involved in our church's youth program please contact Amber Smith.

September Birthdays

Sept. 3 - Joyce Perkins

Sept. 10 - Anne Hughes

Sept. 11 - Dona O'Berry

Sept. 15 – Tom Harris

Sept.16 - Jean Leonardy

Sept. 17 - Ruth Upthegrove

Sept. 17 - John Fry

Sept. 20 – Sheran Rasmus

Sept. 23 - Brooke Walther

Sept. 25 - Jessica Clement

Sept. 26 - Samantha Kirsch

Sept. 29 - Annie Farley

Sept. 29 – Jon Wharton Thacker

September Anniversaries

September 4 – Chuck and Kellie McLendon

September 25 - Rob and Katie Dixon

Note: We are working hard to keep our information accurate and regret if we have missed our birthday or anniversary. If you know of someone whom we have missed in this birthday or anniversary list please notify the Church Office.

The Word of Our Lord

How good and pleasant it is

    when God’s people live together in unity!

Psalm 133:1

Your safety is our No. 1 concern!

Practice self evaluation and hygene

for your safety and others.

We are now able to lift most of the Covid restrictions.

Please continue to deposit your Let's Connect Attendance Card and offering in the box or basket at the back of the church when you leave.

Please dispose of your bulletin as you leave or take it with you to reference upcoming events.

The Sanctuary is sanitized regularly.

Staff Members & Email Addresses

Pastor: Cathy C. Thacker -

Assistant Pastor: Jim Kledis -

Office: Joyce Perkins -

Admin. Asst.: James Wise -

Youth Leader: Amber Smith -

Children's Ministry Director: Rijean Smith -

Preschool Director: Denise Dunn -

Sound Technician: Emma Mavell

Music Director: Lou Murray -

Blended Serv. Worship Leader: Scott Weyrauch

Mercy Ministries Coordinator: Donna Regn

Custodian: Al Rivera -

Security: Juan Santiago

First United Methodist Church of St. Cloud
1000 Ohio Ave., St. Cloud, FL 34769
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