April 4, 2021
“Stones Rolled Away”
Easter is God's YES Day.
9:30 am Connexion
In Person, Facebook Live and YouTube
Rev. Bud Reeves
“The Lion and The Lamb”
“Because He Lives (Amen)”
“How Great is Our God”
“O Praise The Name/ How Great Is Our God Medley”
8:30/11:00 am Sanctuary
In Person, Facebook Live (only 11:00am), YouTube, and FM 96.7
Rev. Bud Reeves
Anthem: “Jesus Lives!”
Anthem: “Christ the Lord is Risen Again”
Keely Sattazahn, Riley Norton, Gaye Mings, Soloists
Melanie Heikkila, Jessica Holt, Trumpets
Nancy W. Vernon, Organist

Reservations necessary for 8:30, 9:30 & 11:00 Easter services.
Register at or call church office 479-782-5068
Please arrive early to accommodate check in.
If I had to name my favorite season of the year, I would be hard pressed to choose. There is something good about every season. But I do love spring. My allergies don’t, but I do! I love to see the ground become green and flowers bloom and warmth return to the days. This past weekend, we took a hike in one of our wonderful state parks. The wildflowers were starting to sprout, and the trees were budding. Some of the flowering trees are already in full bloom. There had been a rain, and the little creek we crossed several times was singing its babbling song; there is not a more relaxing sound anywhere. The bumblebees were buzzing (not my daughter’s favorite part), and the birds were singing. Everywhere you looked, there were signs of new life.

I’ve been seeing signs of new life around the church as well. After a long COVID winter, we are seeing fresh expressions of faith and hope. Except for a few weeks last fall, it had literally been a year since we had enjoyed people in worship. But now we are coming back. Never has 75 people seemed like such a crowd! Many have told me, “This is the first time in a year we have been here.” I know! But so far, they all seem glad to be back.

We never closed the church. We did amazing, creative, and meaningful ministry all through the worst of the pandemic. Lives were still transformed, and we made an impact on our community. But it’s not the same as being together and seeing each others’ eyes (Later we will see your whole face!) and being in their presence. I encourage everyone as soon as you feel safe to join us in person, and bring a friend.

Carey and I joined Kelly DeSoto for the children’s Palm Saturday event last weekend. It was the first time the kids had been together indoors since last March. It was a very special time, and the kids had fun with their activities. Signs of life.

Some of our Sunday small groups are making plans to return to meeting in person at the church. I hope we will all soon be re-connecting with those significant groups in our church. Signs of life!

The church right now seems like one of those slow-motion nature videos showing a young plant break the soil, grow a stalk, reach for the sunlight, and burst into flower. It’s not happening all at once, but it’s happening. We will not return to full participation in a couple of weeks; it’s going to take a while. We will respond and adjust as we go along, and I believe we will eventually get to a good, strong place again.

Not that we haven’t been strong all along. Our people have been faithful to give, to watch services online, to participate in Zoom classes and meetings, and to check on one another’s well-being. Even though we have been dispersed, we have still been together.

We are an Easter people. Our faith is an Easter faith. We believe that after the pain and darkness comes light and joy. Death, sin, and evil are defeated. Love, grace, and peace win! We have been through a hard season, but we are coming out of it. The Church has been here for almost 2,000 years. Our church has been in Fort Smith for almost 200 years. One year of pandemic is not going to kill it. We will rise again!

I hope you have a blessed Easter. Maybe I’ll see you in person. If not, I hope you are part of our online worshipping congregation. We are going to rejoice and praise the God of resurrection, because we can feel it coming. We can see the signs of life! 
Rev. Bud Reeves
Senior Pastor
It’s Spring Y’all!
“The initial step for a soul to come to knowledge of God is contemplation of nature”
(Irenaeus, 120-202)
Would you agree that nature is our first way of knowing God? I distinctly remember thinking as a pre-teen that I knew God existed because of the beauty I witnessed at Camp Mitchell on the top of Petit Jean Mountain.  

One great spiritual practice is to pair the Psalms with creation in some way. Many of the Psalms proclaim the glory, power and love of God in creation. For example, check out Psalms 1, 16, 19, 36, 42, 46, 62, 63, 72, 92 and 104, and then get outdoors to experience God hands-on! You may want to spend some time praying the Psalms in nature. This link gives you a great format for praying particular psalms in their particular nature settings. Or, get outdoors and take some photos of God’s creation and pair your photo with a psalm on your social media accounts. If nature is our first way of knowing God, your post amounts to an act of evangelism, and that’s a great way to use our social media platforms.
This spring break Ed and I drove to Ponca in Newton County hoping to get a glimpse of the Arkansas elk. “Eastern elk once roamed most of the state. Settlement and exploitation by early immigrants reduced the population, and no reliable records exist of Arkansas elk later than the 1840s.” In recent years, however, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission began to reintroduce elk, and the herd now numbers about 500. They are easily observable if you happen to be there on a good day. Check out this link for more information and pictures of the elk. 

I am thankful for the work of the Game and Fish Commission in their conservation efforts, but the story of Arkansas elk is also a stark reminder of the responsibility of God’s people to care for God’s creation. Our actions, both good and bad, impact the world that God has gifted us! There are many simple changes we can make in our lifestyles that will help us to be better stewards of God’s gifts. This website is one that has some great tips:

John Wesley wrote: “I believe in my heart that faith in Jesus Christ can and will lead us beyond an exclusive concern for the well-being of other human beings to the broader concern for the well-being of the birds in our backyards, the fish in our rivers, and every living creature on the face of the earth.”  Friends, spring is here. May you experience the presence of God in creation, may the love of Christ inspire your care for creation, and may the Holy Spirit empower your daily praise of the Creator.
3. God's Covenant with Animals, Lantern Books, 2000, xii
Rev. Roy Beth Kelley
Executive Associate Pastor
If you would like to join our Online Campus, simply open the camera on your phone, hold it up to the QR code above, and then click the link that appears. It’s that easy!
Fishes and Loaves
After our FIRST YOUTH gathering one Sunday night, our adult leaders stayed late to touch base with one another. We shared our celebrations: we were thankful to be able to meet in person, to have a youth-led worship team, and that we had been encouraged by the signs that God had been at work in our group. We also brought up our concerns: the COVID hoops and hurdles, the shortened time frame of our Sunday night gatherings, and a disruption to our weekly rhythm of small group check-ins.  
In our meeting, we all breathed in a fresh feeling of gratitude. Coming back to our in-person gatherings had been so refreshing for each of us, and it was visibly so for our teens as well. Our presence with one another felt like a healing balm as we came to the Loft sharing laughs, lifting our voices in worship, and joining in service efforts alongside one another. 

Yet we admitted an echo of the Apostle Paul’s feelings of being “pressed on every side” (2. Cor. 4:8) as we continue to meet in restricted conditions (for our safety, of course). We lamented that the time we had to gather often didn’t feel long enough. We missed giving each other high fives. We collectively began to long for the day when we can gather at the altar again, placing our hands on one another in prayer. 

After our time of lament, God brought to our minds the youth who gave what he had, his five loaves and two fishes, into the hands of Jesus (John 6:9). Jesus was able to take the boy’s small offering and turn it into a miraculous provision for a great multitude of people. Our adult leaders committed to adopt the same posture: we would give all that we had to Jesus, however little it seemed to be, and trust that he could use it to do something miraculous. 

With that, Lord Jesus, we place all of our Zoom meetings, our masked smiles, our restricted gatherings, and our social distance into your hands. We trust that you can work miracles through it!
Michael Mings
Director of Youth Ministries
We’re looking for incredible people to join our staff! If you or someone you know is looking for a new job, please share our job openings on social media or check out our openings at:

The future of our church is bright!
Please join us as we write our spiritual autobiographies and learn to share our story with our friends and family.

MondaysApril 12, 19, 26 at 7 pm via zoom.
Class size is limited, so please email:
Pastor Roy Beth.
Scholarship Opportunity for Students    
Scholarships through First United Methodist Church are available to active members of First Church that are applying for continuing education above high school level including technical training, undergraduate or graduate studies.

Applications for the 2021-2022 school year should be turned in to the church offices or emailed to Elizabeth Thames at by April 30, 2021. Applications and guidelines can be picked up in the church office or can be emailed by request. Awards for this scholarship are made on a one time basis. The amount of scholarships awarded will vary depending on the applicant’s circumstances, the number of applicants, and on the availability of funds. If you have any questions, please email
 If you would like to make a contribution to our Scholarship Fund it would be
greatly appreciated! Please earmark check or donation to Scholarship Fund.
Small Groups are meeting again in person.
Contact FSFUMC office for more information
In Mercy Hospital:
  • Victor Hart
Loss of loved ones and friends:
  • Jay Williams-Father of Jason (Jennifer) Williams, Grandfather of Drake and Walker Williams
  • Marjorie Reed-Family and Friends Hallie Standard, Mother of Linda Standard
  • McKee Cox – mother of Caroline Meyers, Elizabeth Nelson, and Robert (Karla) Cox and brother of Bill Pitts
Sunday, April 4
6:30 am Sunrise Service, Hunt’s park
8:30 am Sanctuary Worship, in person only
8:30 am Cornerstone Class, Zoom
9:30 am Believers Class, Zoom
9:30 am Connexion Worship, In Person, Facebook Live and YouTube
9:45 am Roundtable Class, Zoom
11:00 am Sanctuary Worship, In Person, Facebook Live, YouTube, and FM 96.7
Monday, April 5
Tuesday, April 6
10:00 am UMW Circle Naomi, Parlor
11:00 am Staff meeting, Loft
6:00 pm Staff—Parish Relations Committee
Wednesday, April 7
5:30 pm Evening Prayer, In Person and Facebook Live
6:15 pm Chapel Class, Zoom
6:30 pm Club 56, Zoom
Thursday, April 8
7:00 pm College Ministry, Zoom
Sherri Bell—We welcome Sherri Bell as a new member by transfer from another denomination. Sherri is retired from the real estate industry, and in the month of April will become the bride of David Staggs.
David Staggs & Sherri Bell
The Book Club April/May book is The Hate U Give. “Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.”

Adults and young adults are encouraged to join. Just get your book and meet us online the last Tuesday of April.

for Zoom link and password.
Calling all united Methodists to 12 Months of loving
It’s the time of year when everything in nature is changing and promising new life and new hope. After the long, dark, winter months, spring is literally a breath of fresh air. Our Month of Loving Project for April is for me like a breath of fresh air. The Call is a local organization whose mission is to serve foster and adoptive families as well as children in care. The Call is mobilizing the church in Arkansas to love foster children with the extravagant love of Christ, by equipping the Body of Christ to care for foster children, through foster care, adoption, support ministries or giving.
Landry Kelley age 4
Many of you know that our family fostered a child a few years ago. Orlando….now Landry. For those of you that don’t know Landry, he is amazing and he was adopted by the most loving, wonderful family. Thankfully we also continue to be a part of his life. While we fostered Landry, people would ask me what they could do to help without actually becoming a foster family. Families that choose to bring children into their homes and love them like their own definitely make some sacrifices.
While it is so rewarding and so worthwhile it can be difficult. Throughout history, God has used unlikely family dynamics to change the world. He has called ordinary men and women to step out in faith and care for those around them. And He has called the church to do the same. James 1:27 tells us, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Anything that we as a church can do to support them is so appreciated.

Foster families can come to The Call and receive supplies or items that they might need for a particular placement. You are given an allowance to help care for the children in your home, but it is not much and most people would say that they always end up using more than the allowance from the state. 
So this is where we can help……. 

We will have a supply drive to help stock the Call! Please bring any of the following during the month of April.

  • Diapers (any size or brand)
  • Baby wipes (any brand) 
  • Laundry Soap (any brand)

You can bring your donations with you to worship or you can bring them by the church offices during the week. So add an item or two to your Wal-Mart order this week and know what a blessing this will be to a family that has been called to love and care for children in need!
Elizabeth Thames
Director of Adult Discipleship
I am Natalie Alexander the new Marketing Communications Director. I want to thank everyone for being so welcoming! 
Being in corporate marketing for 15 years, I am excited to bring my skills and experience to FSFUMC. My husband Mark and I live in Greenwood. I have 3 children, Cali, Maya and Luke and a new grandson Knox.
In Memory of:
  • Bob Hawkins by
          John & Barbara Laborde
          Frank & Mary Shipley
          Leslie Drummond
          Brent & Lucia Laughlin
          Nolton & Lanell Causey
          William & Victoria Chaney
          David & Leanne McClanahan
          John & Margaret Symonds
          Randall & Marian Keator
          Dave, Ellen, Chad & Arden Madden
Mike & Bonnie Smets
Kelly & Marilyn Newton
Richard & Jane Hinkle
Gary & Tracy Keifer
Charlotte & Dudley Flanders
Paul & Suzanne Hanson
In Honor of:
  • Breck Cogswell,
  • Keely Sattazahn,
  • Nancy Vernon 
                    by Floyd & Judy Bradberry
Pastor on Call
M-F 8:30 AM-4:30 PM: (479) 782-5068

Weekends and Evenings: (479) 459-5060

When there is a hospitalization, a death in the family, or any other time you may need urgent pastoral care, we encourage you to use these numbers. The pastors rotate on-call responsibilities to assure that one of them is always accessible.
200 N. 15th St.  Fort Smith, AR 72901
(479) 782-5068 |
Pastor on Call (479) 459-5060
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 
Closed for lunch 12:30PM-1:30PM
  • 8:30AM Cornerstone and Roundtable Sunday School Class, Zoom
  • 9:30AM Believers Sunday School Class, Zoom
  • 9:30AM Connexion, In person, Facebook Live and YouTube
  • 11:00AM Sanctuary, In person, Radio broadcast on 96.7 FM, Facebook Live, and YouTube

  • 5:30PM Evening Prayer, In person, Facebook Live
  • 6:00PM Chapel Class, In Person
FIRST UNITED METHODIST NEWS published weekly except the last week of the year by First United Methodist Church 200 North 15th Street, Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901.