The Grapevine

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF NAPA (707) 253-1411 October 15, 2014

Circles to End Poverty

is ready to launch in Napa!

Circles is a national program aimed at ending poverty in America. It has been found to be an effective way for congregations to walk with the poor out of poverty. Poor families receive training and set goals and then receive ongoing friendship, encouragement, and support from community allies who are often trained church members. Circles is a community wide approach that involves a coalition of community groups dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty. Will you please join us with your time or with your monetary support?

We continue to thank the Napa Community

Seventh-day Adventist Church

at the Corner of Brown and G Streets

for inviting us to worship in their church

each Sunday. We are grateful!

The Fruit of the Vine

More that seven weeks have passed since the 6.0 earthquake hit Napa on August 24th and caused enough damage to our historic building housing our sanctuary and fellowship hall to cause it to be red-tagged. Thanks to the leadership of retired civil engineer and trustee John Lander, Board of Trustees chair Gary Neal, our Board of Trustees, District Superintendent Schuylar Rhodes, the Bridges District Church Location and Buildings Committee, and engineers and contractors from Pullman Company, we now know quite a bit more than we did when I wrote you in last month’s Grapevine. For easier reading, I’ll continue to use a Q&A format so you might quickly access the information you’ll find most helpful.

Q: What damage have we discovered resulting from the earthquake?

A: 1. Pullman engineers and contractors have been on site since doing an extensive “forensic analysis” of the extent of damage to load-bearing members in the historic building following the straightening and fastening of the east wall of the sanctuary. The good news is that little if any damage was done to the foundation. The more challenging news is that a list comprised of close to forty load-bearing members were compromised because of the quake and must be either strengthened or replaced. Many of these members are hard to access and will require much tearing apart and reconstruction.

2. The office areas on the first floor continue with their “yellow tag” designation and, so, are restricted to staff and necessary personnel as needed.

3. While it was a Fusion Worship Team decision to move that ministry from the Asbury Room to the Chapel in the Community Seventh-day Adventist location due in large part to issues of childcare and GRAPE Express children’s ministries, the Bonner Building and Adams Hall are fully safe. Both the Hope Center and the UMW Mini-Thrift Shop are open and fully operational. The many self-help groups meeting in the Bonner Building continue to do so.

Q: What has happened to ministries that have been displaced?

A: Now both Traditional Worship at 9:30 am and Fusion Worship Experience at 11:00 am are conducted at the Community Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sundays. GRAPE Express children’s ministry, the Adult Bible Study Group and several small groups meet during the 11:00 am hour at the same location. Leadership Team meetings and Cathedral Choir rehearsals continue to meet there as well on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm respectively.

Most weekday meetings, classes and small groups have continued uninterrupted. Those meeting in the historical part of the building including the parlor, library, Fellowship Hall and Ruth rooms have been relocated to Bonner Building rooms. The Silent Meditation Group continues to meet and Bonner Bells continue to rehearse Monday evenings in the Nursery Room at 5:30 and 7:30 respectively.

Q: What’s happening with earthquake recovery for members of our Napa First Church family?

A: Our Congregational Care Ministry Team continues to be available for calls, visits and consultations as you may find the need. Do not hesitate to call your CCM minister, the church office, or Pastor Lee Neish at (408) 655-2872 should you need to talk with someone. We’re here to serve you. Also, our Congregational Care Ministry Team along with PSR Field Placement Student Burke Owens is on hand every Sunday morning at the front of the sanctuary following our 9:30 traditional service for personal prayers of healing and anointing with oil. They are also available in the Social Hall during the Coffee Hour.

Q: How are we going to pay for all of this work?

A: On Saturday, October 11th, Board of Trustees chair Gary Neal and Pastor Lee Neish met with District Superintendent Schuylar Rhodes and other members of the Bridges District Church Location and Buildings Committee at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting at our Conference’s West Sacramento offices. Members of Pullman Company were present to give us the most updated evaluation of damages and the estimated cost of repairs.

  1. The total estimated cost for completing an in-kind repair of the historic building is $1,250,000. Following several hours of conversation reviewing the extent of damages and the various options we had before us to proceed, the committee unanimously voted to recommend to the Conference Earthquake Fund committee that the fund pay for the full amount of the repair work to be completed! This was great news!! And while all parties have not yet come to agreement over this issue, the committee’s recommendation will mean a lot as we proceed further with the decision-making process.

  2. If we were to choose to add a seismic retrofit to the building in addition to repairs which would help us better withstand another quake should one occur, this work would carry a total estimated cost of $650,000. The committee did not address this issue as, if we were insured using a traditional insurance company, the agreement would be to repair in-kind but not to augment repair work to make the building stronger than it’s original design and construction. Because this is the first time the Conference’s Self-Insured Fund will experience disbursements for earthquake repair, there is yet much discernment with regard to what the fund should and should not / can and cannot cover. We anticipate further conversations with our church leadership and, at appropriate times, with conference leadership.

  3. There are a number of additional considerations brought to our attention that may be important during the course of the repairs. Such considerations include the potential for adding a fire suppressant system (sprinklers) throughout the historic building; bringing the historic building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA which most likely would make the second floor more accessible by adding an elevator); HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) capacity; and other “add-ons” which might not be required but which might be considered as part of the repair and construction work as, to accomplish these projects later would be cost-prohibitive. Pullman will be gathering further information on construction detail and cost as we consider what our options may be and how some, if any, might be funded.

Q: What’s happening with our core ministries and ministry outreach initiatives?

A: 1. We are cooperating with a documentary film crew who will be joining us for worship this Sunday, October 19th, to shoot on location and tell the story of the cooperation between the Community Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Napa First UMC. Please join us and come prepared to be part of the story-telling of this most remarkable cooperation following the earthquake.

2. On October 23rd, we will engage in an exploratory conversation about the creation of a Napa County Earthquake Recovery Group. The mission of this group will be to ensure that individuals in our community get the help they need and deserve following our earthquake crisis and access additional outside resources both financial (hard dollars) and in-kind help.

Nationally, there has been a history of long-term recovery groups succeeding when a collaborative (such as Napa County Earthquake Recovery Group) is formed. Locally, with the generosity of the Napa Valley Vintners, the Napa Valley Community Foundation has begun our recovery process. This is a wonderful first step. However, even if FEMA and SBA decide to offer assistance in addition to this, many more relief dollars and in-kind efforts will be needed.

Simply stated, we need to get an Earthquake Recovery Group together that can receive funds and in-kind donations from broader, national sources such as our own United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The key is to include national non-profits and faith-based organizations with local presence and connections to large relief organizations. The local Napa County Earthquake Recovery Group can receive more financial assistance while accessing entirely self-contained teams of people who can travel here and help us rebuild.

3. County Supervisor Brad Wagenknect will be joining us in worship on Sunday, October 26th to help tell the story of a compassionate community beyond the aftermath of the earthquake. Our long awaited Napa Circles Initiative is slated to launch its first training for circle leaders on Tuesday, November 4th. We’ll be recruiting volunteers throughout November to help with child care, to prepare and serve meals, or serve on a circle as allies. Also, we’ve had an anonymous donor step forward to pledge a matching gift of $5,000 to be awarded Napa Circles upon the successful completion of a matching campaign. So, we invite you to give your special Thanksgiving Offering throughout November to be used to this purpose which, we hope, will result in an initial sum of $10,000 to assist in launching the Circles effort.

4. On Saturday, November 1st, we are planning to celebrate All Saints Day in a very special way this year. We are inviting our entire Napa First UMC congregation to join our Seventh-day Adventist brothers and sisters at their regularly scheduled service of worship from 11:15 am to 12:30 pm. We’ll also plan to host the refreshments for both congregations that day following worship. Please plan to join us as an expression of our appreciation to God and to them for the tremendous gift of hospitality they have offered to us.

5. We are planning special concerts around the Christmas season in conjunction with the Community Seventh Day Adventist Church and have scheduled two major guest artists to be with us in worship on Sundays December 21st and January 11th and in concert for both congregations that afternoon of January 11th. We hope you’ll join us for these great expressions of joy as we come together as Christian brothers and sisters around the holidays. We’ll also dedicate our annual Candlelight Christmas Offering to assist in rebuilding the Seventh-day Adventist school here in Napa that sustained so much damage during the earthquake. We invite you to give generously as an expression of our joy in receiving the beautiful free gift of their worship space for the duration of time that repairs are being made to our worship space.

Every Monday - Silent Meditation at 5:30 p.m.

We now meet in the FUMC Nursery

Every Friday - Labyrinth Meditation Walk in the

Labyrinth Courtyard

Grapevine Schedule

Deadline October 23rd—Mailing October 29th

Circles Matching Grant Announced

An anonymous donor has pledged $5,000 to match donations received before 12/15/14 to support our Napa Circles Initiative.

Napa Circles Initiative is a transformational approach that partners volunteers and community leaders together with families who are wanting to make the journey out of poverty. Circles USA has chapters operating in communities around the country. Each initiative consists of families working to get out of poverty, supported by several middle and upper income Allies who befriend them and lend support. The family is the Circle Leader, setting direction for activities. With the help and friendship of their Allies, each family sets and achieves goals unique to their own needs.

Rather than targeting a surface need of at-risk communities such as housing or food provision, Napa Circles Initiative seeks to expand social capital by fostering relationships across racial and economic lines. It engages the community as a whole and encourages growth from people of all financial classes. Circles is designed to assist families in creating their own personal paths out of poverty while at the same time expanding opportunities, connections and eliminating barriers in the community that make it difficult for families to thrive (see

The Napa Circles Initiative will launch the first of on-going weekly Community Meetings on Tuesday, November 4th. This event is the focal point for Circle Leader and Ally training.

If you wish to help us claim the matching grant, please make your checks out to “FUMC”, with “Circles” on the note line.

Grief Support Group

I will be offering a grief support group on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 pm in the Conference Room at our church. The first meeting will be on October 21st. We will meet for one to one and a half hours each Tuesday evening for eight weeks. If you are interested or have any questions, please call Barbara Barrett at 707-255-8167. Please RSVP so I can provide the appropriate materials.

Barbara Barrett

United Methodist Women News

19th -  8:30 a.m. – Sarah Crosby Circle Meeting – S-dA Church

19th - 11:00 a.m. -  Sunday Unit Meeting

11:00 – Local Mission Project for Mini Thrift Shop

12:15 – Lunch – (waiting for Fusion Worshipers)

12:15 – Program – Drawing Our Circle Wider    

Coordinator – Jan Geren

Hosts – Susanna Wesley Circle   

Please put this important meeting on your calendars and plan to attend.

BSA Troop 2

Boy Scout Troop 2 will sell their Christmas Wreaths again this year.

They will be at our church service on Sunday, Oct. 26th and will take orders for these beautiful fresh wreaths. They will provide the cookies for the fellowship hour after worship. If you cannot be in church that day you may call the church office and we’ll place your order for you.


On Call Handyman to do minor repairs at CANV’s Samaritan Family Shelter. If interested, please call Rev Linda S. Powers @ (707) 253-6100, ext 108 -  Volunteer work appreciated, but small stipend available, or we’ll make a contribution to your church.

Thanks - Rev Linda S. Powers

Program Director – Shelter Services-Community Action of Napa Valley

(707) 253-6100, ext 108

Concert and Tea to benefit the earthquake damage to

First United Methodist Church in Napa.

November 2nd at 3:00 pm

United Methodist Church of St. Helena

Sunday at 3 pm Terry Winn, pianist will accompany Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson, cellist in a program featuring the music of George and Ira Gershwin.  Kathryn Hopgood, soprano will sing some of the Gershwin's Broadway hits and the program will highlight An American in Paris, performed by Winn and Johnson, the Napa Valley Duo.  A High English Tea with tea sandwiches,  scones, clotted cream, biscuits and sweets follows the performance. First United Methodist Church in Napa suffered over $1,000,000.  in damages.  For tickets, mail a check made out to First United Methodist Church, Napa for any amount you desire and send to the United Methodist Church of St. Helena, 1310 Adams Street, St. Helena, CA 94574.  There will be a reservation list at the door. 

Molly’s Angels

Thank you for all the support that we are receiving regarding our 16th Annual Christmas Party, scheduled for Dec. 6, 2014.  We are asking for anyone in your congregation that is able, to either make a hand-made gift or to purchase something that will be given to one of our 200 low-income seniors.  Gifts ideas might be a hand-made scarf, a nice blanket, or anything made with love.  Bought gifts might be lotions, something pretty, or something yummy.  Another important gift that would be helpful would be gift cards for different stores, especially grocery stores.

Thank you to all that are interested in helping us to make this holiday season special for those less fortunate. You may bring your gifts to the church office. God bless you all for your generosity.

Napa Valley CanDo Give!Guide Fundraiser -  Church Women United is one of 40 non-profit organizations that will receive funds through the Give!Guide.  The Give!Guide will be distributed through the Marketplace Magazine to approx. 42,000 households.  Beginning November 1 to December 31 donors will have an opportunity to support the CWU Clothing Center.  You may do this by going to with as little as $10 by credit card or check.

Circles Supper Project

As you’ve seen in an earlier article in this newsletter, the Napa Circles Initiative will begin its first 12 week Tuesday evening training session on November 4th. Each session will start at 5:30 pm with a light supper for the leaders, their families and their coalition members.

Volunteers are needed to prepare and serve the meal and to set up and clean up. Donations of food and funds to defray the cost of the food will also be much appreciated.

If you are interested in helping with this Circles Supper Project in any way, please contact Eva Joell at 252-0708. If you wish to donate money for the food, checks should be made out to First United Methodist Church and put “Circles Food” on the memo line. Your money will be used only for this project.

Our Purpose Statement is to be outwardly focused to bring people into relationship with Jesus to display God’s Kingdom on earth through acts of love, peace and justice.

Sunday Worship Service: 9:30 am

Fusion Contemporary Worship Service: 11:00 am

Seventh-day Adventist Church

Corner of Brown and G Streets, Napa

Monday Silent Meditation Group—5:30 pm—Nursery

Friday Labyrinth Meditation Walk—5:30 pm

Adult Bible Study Group—10:45 am—Young Adult Room, S-d A Church

GRAPE Express—3 years through 5th grade—9:30-S-d A Church

Visit us on Facebook—Napa First United Methodist Church—707-253-1411—email—

Pastor: Rev. Lee Neish

Lay Leaders: Barbara Thompson & Mark Andersen

Lay Speaker: Michael Herzog

Office Manager: Dianne Mahler

Director of Music: Jan Lanterman

Organist: Harold Julander

Director of Cathedral Choir: Jan Lanterman

Director of Bonner Bells: Diane Levorsen

First United Methodist Church ~625 Randolph St.~ Napa 94559~ (707)253-1411

Since the earthquake we worship at the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Brown and G Sts.

Please worship with us there each Sunday morning.


You are welcome to visit us on Facebook: Napa First United Methodist Church