The Grapevine

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF NAPA (707) 253-1411 December 1, 2014

Christmas Eve Worship Services

5:30 pm – Family Worship

7:00 pm – The Fusion Worship Experience

11:00 pm – Christmas Eve Worship and Cantata

We are grateful to the Napa Community Seventh-day Adventist Church for their gracious invitation to worship in their church at the Corner of Brown and G Streets each Sunday and during the Advent Season.

The Fruit of the Vine

December is a great time to invite your friends and acquaintances to make Napa First United Methodist Church their church home for the holidays!

During the first three weeks of Advent (beginning this Sunday, November 30th, we’ll launch a five week message series based upon the full length feature film The Nativity Story released by New Line Cinema into theatres in December, 2006. Described by Dean Richards of WGN-TV in Chicago as “powerful, timeless and visually magnificent,” he proceeds to speak of The Nativity Story as “a beautiful telling of one of the world’s most familiar stories.”

It was the cruelest of times. Under Herod’s torturous reign, families struggled to survive and yet, in the midst of utter turmoil, a young woman’s faith was put to the test.

Throughout the message series, and at a showing of the motion picture at 5:30 Sunday evening, December 7th, in the Asbury Room, join Mary and Joseph on an incredible journey of hope and discovery, epic in its scope, yet intimate in its portrayal of this historical family.

And coming in 2015, there are three message series sure to be of interest not only to members of our church family but to those who may be interested in the faith enterprise referred to as Christian:

Napa Circles Initiative Matching Grant Surpasses Goal!

A challenge grant of $5,000 was announced on Sunday, October 27th with the goal of matching that amount with another $5,000 to be contributed by members of Napa First United Methodist Church as the focus of our annual special Thanksgiving offering. I’m excited to report that, on this last Sunday, November 23rd, a total of $873 was given and added to the already received $4,286 to realize a total of $5,159. This means that we’ll have a total of $10,159 as we begin the launch of Napa Circles in January!

Please consider adding to this total with your special Thanksgiving offering. This is a real Thanksgiving—not only for our congregation, but especially for those hundreds, eventually thousands of lives that will be changed over the course of the coming years as Napa Circles grows and multiplies!

Treasure Hunt Estimate of Giving Card Return

By the end of worship on November 23rd, 18 pledge cards had been received yielding an annual amount of $49,575! What a great start to the next few weeks as we anticipate receiving the remaining Estimate of Giving Cards. To help the office staff, we ask that you return your card as soon as possible to avoid the necessity of sending additional mailings to your address. For your convenience, an Estimate of Giving Card has been enclosed with this newsletter. If you’ve not already done so, simply complete the card and return it to the church office or bring it with you to worship next Sunday and place it in the offering plate. Our Committee on Finance and office staff are grateful for your generosity!

Join Us in a Trip to Palestine/Israel

See the Holy Land with Palestinian Eyes

All travel, comfortable lodging and meals included

Travel dates – April 13-24, 2015

For more information please call

Deacon Mike Friedrich at 510-917-5394

Mini Thrift Shop News

Our last working day of 2014 was Tuesday, November 25th. We had our celebration potluck for our volunteers to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication. We will reopen on February 3, 2015. Please hold your donations until that time. Many thanks for your loyalty to our shop. Happy Holidays.

Martine Patrick, Manager

Please Save the Dates

2014-2015 Calendar of Coming Events

Napa First United Methodist Church

Worshiping at the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Corner of Brown and G Streets

November, 2014

29th City of Napa Holiday Parade

30th First Sunday in Advent

Vineyard Circuit Charge Conference & Potluck ,Vallejo First UMC 4 pm


7th Second Sunday in Advent

Discover Napa First UMC Membership Dinner at 5:00 pm – Kagawa

Fun & Fellowship Soup Supper and a Movie – 5:30 pm – Kagawa Room

13th Builders Christmas Lunch and Gift Exchange – 2-4:30 pm - Neal Farm

14th Third Sunday in Advent

Children’s Christmas Pageant at 5:00 pm.

21st Fourth Sunday in Advent featuring FUMC Choir and The Seventh-Day Adventist Orchestra - 9:30 am

The Longest Night Service at Community Seventh-day Adventist Church at 7:00 pm. Music by Bonner Bells

24th Candlelight Christmas Eve for Families with Children at 5:30 pm.

A Fusion Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship Experience at 7:00 pm.

Candlelight Christmas Eve Cantata with the Cathedral Choir at 11 pm

25th Christmas Day

28th Christmas Sunday

31st New Year’s Eve

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

We now meet in the FUMC Nursery

Every Friday at noon - Labyrinth Meditation Walk

in the Labyrinth Courtyard

Kindly note the time change!

Grapevine Schedule

Deadline December 4th—Mailing December 10th

Circles Supper Project

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.


Plans for our annual Christmas party have been made! Please come on December 13th from 2:00 to 4:30 pm for an afternoon of fun. Please bring a $10 wrapped gift for the gift exchange. If you’d like, you may bring a brand new toy, unwrapped, that will be delivered to Toys for Tots.

This is a catered event so just come, relax, enjoy your friends. You don’t have to be a regular attending Builder to enjoy our group party. Consider this our invitation to all of you who might want to attend. The party will be better because you are there! Space is limited to the first 60 folks that pay $16 to our treasurer, Fran Kane.  

See you in church,

Kay Neal 707-224-8491 home

              707-479-8576 mobile 

Napa FUMC people attend Jesus Seminar on the Road in Auburn

Evelyn Lutz, Peter Lutz, John Holt, Harold Julander, June Moroney of FUMC, and Marlene Zimmerman of Covenant Presbyterian Church attended the Jesus Seminar on the Road (JSOR) of the Westar Institute 11/6-7. The Jesus Seminar is part of Westar Institute that is dedicated to fostering and communicating cutting edge scholarship on Christian tradition, raising public awareness of questions that matter in society and culture.

Two speakers presented at the conference: Art Dewey and Thomas Sheehan.  Art Dewey(Th.D,Harvard University), is a Professor of Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH.  He is a frequent presenter on PBS' Saturday Morning Edition.  He spoke on Jesus as an artisan of words, who spoke so that his hearers who were 95% illiterate, would remember his words for a long time. He made the point that Jerry Seinfeld is indebted to Jesus". Love your enemies" is not funny, but it will stay in your mind for a long time.  It makes an impression. It also requires imagination and patience. Jesus thought his audience was intelligent even if they were illiterate.

Thomas Sheehan (Ph.D,Fordham University), is Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University, and author of The First Coming, a controversial account of Easter.  Tom Sheehan spoke about economic parallels between First Century Roman Empire and present day America.  He said that the "dirty secret" of first century Rome was that many people were starving, while coliseums were being built and wars were fought. This injustice certainly lead to Jesus' speaking out about the injustice of the Empire crushing the population. Sheehan spoke about U.S. tax rates being high in the 1950s when there was a general sense of well-being, and drew parallels to economic chasms in our times. Sheehan presented artworks figures of women being smashed by Roman soldiers routinely as victims of the Empire.  And we think our T.V. and movie images are the worst.

People in the audience were asked to come up with plans to break people out of their complacency, and to attempt to solve the problem of the upper 1% gaining more and more of the wealth of the U.S. Our group came up with a "gadfly" idea of a small group to keep after public entities and corporations for the public benefit.

The spring meeting of Westar will take pace in Santa Rosa March 18-21, 2015.  The subject will be Tales of Sorrow, Tales of Power.  Bernard Brandon Scott will speak on Letters of the Real Paul, and there will be a Seminar on Christian Sacred Scripture and the Martyrs, and a Seminar on God and the Future.

June Moroney


Leaders and helpers are needed for the 11:00 service for GRAPE Express. There are a few families attending the Fusion service and it would be such a blessing to be able to offer Children’s Worship (Sunday School) for the kids. If this is the place for you, please contact Vicki Poli for details. Thank you and God Bless.

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

We’ve matched the grant – now let’s see how much we can raise to fund the first group going forward! Thanks so much for your generosity!

Annual Children’s Christmas Program

What: A short Christmas Play with Christmas Carols

When: December 14th

3 pm rehearsal

5 pm performance

Who: Performers age 3 – Middle School

Where: Asbury and Kagawa Rooms at FUMC, Bonner Bldg. at 4th and Franklin

Why: A chance for ALL to celebrate Christmas and enjoy the community of FUMC

Food: (of course!) Pizza Party for all following the 5 pm performance (donations gladly accepted!)

On December 14th, all children from 3 years through middle school are welcome to participate in the annual Christmas Program. We will rehearse the short play at 3 pm and present the program at 5 pm for all. All children will be included, and it’s an easy read-through, sing-through play with simple props and media followed by a performance with Christmas Carols to be sung by all.

Please join the children and celebrate the Christmas Story as told through their presence.

Online Giving

We are pleased to offer online giving for our members and friends. While this can have advantages, we want each person who chooses this option to make sure they are giving in a spirit that pleases the Lord.

There are different ways to give electronically including credit cards and FUMC teaches that living "debt free" is a worthy goal for all Christians. We offer online giving as a convenience and not as a way to circumvent sound biblical money management principles or in any way to incur debt.

We use Paypal for our online donations. Paypal is a well-known, time-tested industry standard for online purchasing. PayPal uses the latest in data encryption and anti-fraud technology to keep your information secure, reducing the risk of online fraud. Also, you do not have to have an account to use Paypal. You may make donations with money in your PayPal account, your bank account, or a credit card. You can then follow the steps to make your one-time gift or set up a recurring gift. 

A brief tutorial is available:

United Methodist Women News

As the holiday season approaches look for the cheerful Teacher Resource Center of the North Bay holiday house which will be placed near the coffee maker after church on Sundays. TRCNB provides a non-profit, volunteer operated classroom supply store where teachers can shop twice a year for school supplies free of charge. With your generous loose chain donations TRCNB can purchase much needed supplies to help teachers enhance their student’s learning experience throughout Napa County. The Napa United Methodist Women are pleased to thank you for your continued support.

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 Traditional Worship Service: 9:30 am

Seventh-day Adventist Church

Fusion Contemporary Worship Experience: 11:00 am

Seventh-day Adventist Chapel

Corner of Brown and G Streets, Napa

Monday Silent Meditation Group—5:30 pm—Nursery

Friday Labyrinth Meditation Walk—Noon

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


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